Recently, a wealthy user sent over 50,562 BTC worth $1 billion to another address, paying a commission of just 2,513 satoshi, the equivalent of half a dollar. This is an unprecedented cost to move such a huge amount.
The billion dollar transaction was processed in block 761374 with a transaction fee of only 15 satoshi per data unit or satoshi/vbyte. The total commission was 50 cents.
What terms and conditions do existing financial companies offer in such a case? A well-known money transfer provider charges 0.3% for a $10 million transfer, which corresponds to $30,000. This is a million times more expensive than the fee in the bitcoin blockchain.
Before a new bitcoin block is mined, each request for a BTC transaction sits in a memory pool or “mempool,” which is something like a bus stop with people waiting. On average, it takes miners 10 minutes to mine a new block.
Bitcoin miners sort transactions by first serving passengers who have the most expensive bus tickets (transaction fee). Thus, the higher the commission per transaction, the faster it is confirmed.
At 15 sat/vbytes the cost of sending over 50,000 bitcoins is very low, indicating that our bitcoin kit was in no hurry.
By comparison, in late October an impatient bitcoin user paid a whopping 8,042 sat/bytes or 1,136,000 satoshi to move 3.8 bitcoins ($65,000).
Going back to our whale, he continued to send over 50,000 bitcoins to other wallets. These addresses are not publicly known, so it is difficult to judge the purpose of the payment.
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